The NewsDemon Blog

Microsoft Newsgroups: IE8 Safest Browser According To Lab Results

By Newsgroup Usenet August 17th, 2009

BrowsersThose who made the upgrade to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer 8 will be pleased to learn that the browser has proven to be the most effective at blocking malware, following a recent study by NSS Labs. However, some experts question the validity of the results.

Internet Explorer 8 blocked about four out of every five sites that attempt to trick visitors into downloading malicious software in browser security tests performed by NSS Labs, according to a report released yesterday.

Microsoft on Thursday released NSS Labs research on several of its own newsgroups indicating that IE 8 excels at blocking phishing and malware attacks. These newsgroup posts reveal that in Microsoft-sponsored testing at a Texas lab, NSS found that IE 8 and an open-source Firefox browser from Mozilla tied for first place when it came to catching “social-engineering” phishing attacks.

“We’ve spent quite a bit of time talking about the socially engineered malware threat because it is currently the biggest problem users face. However, phishing remains a prevalent and important threat to users as well. We’re continuously making improvements to our data sources and intelligence systems that deliver phishing protection. This continuous investment keeps IE in the market-leading position it established with the release of the Phishing Filter in IE7. Since then, Internet Explorer 7 and 8 have blocked over 125 million phishing attacks,” said Eric Lawrence, IE PM

NSS tested a total of five Windows-based browsers including: IE8, Firefox 3.0.11, Safari 4.0.2, Chrome 2.0.0.172.33 and Opera 10 beta. The browsers were to defend their users against more than 2,100 malware sites in 69 tests run over a 12-day period.

Mozilla’s Firefox 3.0, was able to catch just 27% of the same infected sites. Apple’s Safari 4.0 blocked out 21% of the corrupt online destinations, while Google’s Chrome 2.0 was good for a 7% total. Opera Software’s browser provided the most dismal figure, identifying just 1% of the infected sites.

The tests did not include sites that use hidden exploits and drive-by-download attacks to attempt to install malware without your ever having a chance to recognize an attack.



Newsgroup Spotlight: Real Estate and Housing Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet August 12th, 2009

real-estate-housing

For those in the Real Estate industry, USENET newsgroups have long been an indispensable resource. Real Estate and Housing newsgroups are places where like-minded individuals gather to swap information and advice.

USENET newsgroups are broken into sub topics related to the different aspects associated with the Real Estate and the Housing markets covering much of the world. Housing Newsgroups have long existed for those people who are interested in buying real estate, discussing the buying process, picking a home, finding services, finding information about foreclosures, short sales, mortgages, and much more.

USENET newsgroups offer hundreds of real estate articles and guides on how to get started in Real Estate – whatever the role.

With dozens of different newsgroups to choose from, anything and everything you want to know about the Real Estate profession and Housing can be found on newsgroups. No other online source comes close to providing the same high level of information than what USENET newsgroups have to offer.

All aspects of Real Estate are covered on USENET – from Interior Design Newsgroups to Home Ownership Discussion Groups.

As the housing market becomes a center point of America’s attention recently, a number of housing related newsgroups have experienced a huge spike of new subscribers. Looking for answers on a variety of aspects of Real Estate, USENET again remains a necessity for many to stay informed.



Newsgroups Report Latest Twitter Fail Due To DDoS Attack

By Newsgroup Usenet August 10th, 2009

Twitter FailLate last week was not a pleasant one for many Twitter users as the site was hit by a massive DDos attack which made sure the site went down for at least a couple of hours. It did come back up though. However, many newsgroup discussions are around how Twitter just hasn’t felt the same ever since it’s been back up.
The service was unavailable for hours last Thursday and was not running smoothly Friday.

The attack seems to have been a politically motivated one where the attacker wanted to silence a user from Georgia who was using popular social networking sites
as a base to voice his issues. The massive cyber attack against the Georgian blogger that caused a global knockout of Twitter slowed several other popular web sites; Facebook and LiveJournal

While the intention might have been to “silence” one user, it had resulted in Twitter being rendered unusable. Some USENET newsgroups represent the first examples of how messy flame wars could get. Some of the most historic flame wars were created by some of the first to join the USENET. However, due to the way that USENET works, the entire network could not have been affected by a DDoS attack as it was with Twitter.

“I am not happy that [my] blogs were attacked,” said the blogger, speaking on his cell phone from outside the Georgian capital of Tbilisi. “But it is good that I get famous. I think Obama knows about me, because he likes Internet news.”

Giorgy said he was surprised and dismayed that the attack had brought down Twitter all over the world.

Facebook said Friday that the bloggers pages at Facebook and LiveJournal were targeted in the attack. It said it had isolated the trouble and that service for its more than 250 million users had returned to normal.

Just like USENET newsgroups, millions of people have come to rely on Twitter and the like to express their innermost thoughts and to keep up with world news and celebrity gossip. An estimated 10 million people around the world use Twitter, while Facebook has around 250 million active members. Normal service has been restored to all sites in the days following the cyber attacks.



Newsgroup Spotlight: Linux Operating System Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet August 5th, 2009

As Windows 7 has been released to manufacturing, the popularity of other operating systems still increase. Apple has seen great increase in sales of desktop and mobile computing devices while Linux has been making a monumental move from the geek dorm to the living room by being pre-packaged by big name manufacturers.

DELL, HP and Acer have been leading an incentive to bring different flavors of the Linux OS to market. Ubuntu being considered the favorite of many, others are being utilized dependent on their usage.

Linux newsgroups have existed almost since the dawn of USENET newsgroups, with specific newsgroups relating to each Linux distribution. Since Linux has always been open source, different distributions have been created to cater to the needs of the user. From personal to enterprise versions of Linux available, Linux has grown to 600 variations of the popular operating system.
Below are some of the more popular newsgroups relating to each operating system distribution:
alt.os.debian – Free distribution of the Linux based operating system which is maintained and updated through the work of many volunteers and users. Other Debian operating system discussion groups include:

alt.os.linux.debian

alt.pl.comp.os.linux.debian
alt.os.linux.mandriva – Mandriva Linux includes many graphical administration assistants & wizards that make it intuitive and fun to use while providing all the power and robustness of other Linux systems.
alt.os.linux.redhat– Red Hat Enterprise Linux is a high-end Linux distribution geared toward businesses with mission-critical needs. Other Redhat operating system discussion groups include:

linux.redhat

linux.redhat.install

alt.linux.redhat

Redhat has a host of other newsgroups specific to each aspect of the operating system and available packages for the OS.

alt.pl.comp.os.linux.fedora– Fedora is RedHat’s plan to develop a complete, general purpose operating system exclusively from free software. The distribution was created to replace low-end, comsumer versions of RedHat Linux.

alt.linux.suse – openSUSE has received high praise from its users due to apple-esque polished desktop environments, courtesy of KDE and GNOME. It is one of the most documented distributions available.

Another openSUSE operating system discussion group can be found at:

alt.os.linux.suse

alt.os.linux.ubuntu – The most common and popular, Ubuntu provides an up-to-date, stable operating system for the average user, with a strong focus on usability and ease-of-installation. Whether you use it at home, at school or at work Ubuntu contains all the applications you’ll ever need, from word processing and email applications, to web server software and programming tools. The graphical installer enables you to get up and running quickly and easily. Another version similar, Kubuntu , is based off this distribution.



Internet Newsgroups: Mozilla Firefox Reaches 1 Billion Downloads

By Newsgroup Usenet August 3rd, 2009

Firefox 1 Billion ServedToday, Mozilla launched a new website celebrating one billion Firefox downloads. The big event happened last Thursday night, according to the company’s official download counter reported on internet browser newsgroups.

This 1 billion figure includes users downloading multiple copies for different computers in addition to manual downloads for upgrading purposes, although automatic updates and downloads from USENET newsgroups are not counted. It makes one wonder how long before it would hit the 1 billion mark if newsgroup downloads of the software were counted since 2004.

“This is a monumental event – Firefox has come a long way since its debut in November 2004, thanks to the amazing Firefox community,” Mozilla wrote in a blog post. “Volunteers from all over the world contribute to the coding, testing and spreading of Firefox to communities across the globe.”

The fact that Mozilla has recorded one billion Firefox downloads by itself doesn’t prove the Web browser has become a formidable competitor to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. It’s Firefox’s reputation for superior security, rapid patching of security holes and its multitude of browser extentions that has allowed it to win converts among corporate and personal Web users.

Firefox more or less holds 31% of the market share, second only to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer who is seeing their 60% grip loosening by the day. Other browsers such as Opera, Chrome and Safari have a lot of work to do if they were to catch up.



Mobile Newsgroups: First Touchscreen PC Tablet Crunchpad Coming Soon

By Newsgroup Usenet July 31st, 2009

Techcrunch and a Singapore company are hoping to have Crunchpad, the world’s first true PC tablet, ready for release by November of this year.

The Singapore start-up company Fusion Garage is racing to be the first in the world to bring an almost mythical creature – the touch screen tablet computer – to the market.

According messages on USENET newsgroups, the tablet device is designed for users to consume content rather than create it, similar to a netbook. The operating system was developed in-house by Fusion Garage and the device will have no storage space and will instead run programs hosted on servers: so-called cloud computing. The OS is a customized version of Linux and it was developed specifically for this device.

The CrunchPad touch screen internet tablet will launch by November, just in time for the Christmas buying rush. The company has teamed up with Michael Arrington, founder of TechCrunch, to help get the product out of the door. Earlier, Arrington had promised an event to unveil the CrunchPad in late July or early August.

It would lack any form of storage as it is focused on using web based services for all the tasks.

Newsgroup discussions further reveal that it will reportedly include both Wi-Fi and 3G access, a custom OS based on Webkit and one USB port. At 13 inches by 8 inches and at 2.6 pounds, it will supposedly look and weigh less than a MacBook Air.

Main Specs:

* Connectivity: WiFi & 3G, with option for mobile broadband
* Dimensions: 12.77 x 7.83 x 0.74″
* Hardware: 1.6GHz Atom & 1GB RAM
* Peripherals: 1x USB port built-in, for keyboard or mouse
* Price: Unconfirmed, estimated US$399 (approx. S$575)
* Screen: 12″
* Software: Webkit browser/operating system, developed by the Fusion Garage team
* Weight: 1.2kg



Newsgroup Spotlight: Stock and Investment Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet July 29th, 2009

Saving money can be much easier when you have the information as well as the steps to put that information into use. That’s what stock and investment newsgroups have centered around; to share that all important information and explain how to use it to take control of your finances, allowing you to save and gain.
Surviving and thriving in ever changing markets demands perpetual focus and 20/20 vision. Stock and Investment newsgroups can be a valuable supplement to keeping a honed eye on the world and can be the key difference between success and failure.
Newsgroups have and can provide both entrepreneurs , investors and companies a more efficient way to pass information swiftly and intelligently. USENET stock and investment newsgroups provide the community it supports the ability to:
• Post messages and read messages by others
• Search posts for relevant discussions
• Screen the markets and discuss recent activity
• Scan sector and industry categories to locate company message boards
• Stay updated with today’s top stories and discuss recent headlines
• Follow company financial data, including quotes, charts and news
Many USENET newsgroups exist on investing and the stock market. The general investment newsgroup, misc.invest provides discussions of the latest financial developments and funding sources throughout the world. Covering a multitude of topics ranging from public finance, taxes, banking services and new industry specific trends. Other newsgroups, such as misc.invest.funds is a centered discussion group for mutual funds, and the group misc.invest.stocks is solely centered around the rise and falls of stocks.
Whatever the focus of finance, there are newsgroups that exist around them. From Funds, Futures to Technical newsgroups, USENET hosts a number of user sustained discussion groups around each topic.



ATT Blocks Access To USENET and Website 4Chan

By Newsgroup Usenet July 27th, 2009

death-star-att-1Adding to its own controversy, AT&T Sunday blocked sections of the popular image-based bulletin board, 4chan, adding more fuel to the debate over network neutrality.

Web site 4chan.org reported Sunday afternoon that AT&T subscribers could not gain access to certain portions of 4chan. AT&T spokesperson had initially vaguely confirmed that the carrier was blocking portions of the site because they were “following the practices of their policy department.” AT&T declined to provide a more specific explanation for why at the time, which triggered an immediate response from the global online community.

Many bloggers, forums and newsgroups were quick to decry the act as a form of censorship. Quickly, fear grew among tech bloggers that a massive 4chan counterattack was about to begin. 4chan has been known as a controversial website at times, but has largely been left alone until now.

“AT&T has just opened perhaps the most vindictive, messy can of worms it could have possibly found,” said TechCrunch. “Blocking any site is an extreme breach of user trust, but the decision to block 4chan in particular just seems stupid. Expect the web equivalent of rioting if this doesn’t change soon.”

AT&T had also recently discontinued providing USENET access to all customers, which was part of the initial fuel that fed a fire that could have quickly gotten out of hand. NewsDemon.com reported the outage back in June and continues to offer 25% Off all plans for former ATT subscribers.
AT&T said today that the temporary block of 4chan was due to an attack on one of its customers and not because of the popular site’s content.

In a statement, the ISP stated said that an unnamed business customer was the target of a denial-of-service attack on Friday. The DDOS attack originated from IP addresses connected to 4chan, and to prevent it from spreading to other customers, AT&T blocked those addresses for its Internet-service subscribers.

AT&T Inc. spokesman Michael Coe says the site was blocked to protect customers from a so-called “denial of service” attack, which floods targets with meaningless traffic. “This action was in no way related to the content at 4chane; our focus was on protecting our customers from malicious traffic,” AT&T said. It removed the block late Sunday.



NewsDemon.com Newsgroups Releases USENET Tester Tool

By Newsgroup Usenet July 24th, 2009

USENET TesterNewsDemon.com Newsgroups today is proud to present a new software release, the NewsDemon.com Newsgroups USENET Tester. The USENET Tester tool is designed to assist in testing and verifying any USENET access account.

The USENET tester is a desktop application that allows the user to input the address, username, password and newsgroup to run a series of tests. The tests will provide results on whether the account is active and if the newsgroup is carried by the USENET access provider.

The announcement is part of NewsDemon.com Newsgroups ongoing pursuit to help customers simplify their USENET experience.

The USENET Tester also includes other functions. This tool is especially helpful to determine if a particular newsgroup is carried by a USENET provider as well as providing a header count for the newsgroup.

The program works with Windows XP, Vista and 7 RTM. For more information and instructions about the USENET tester, visit http://www.newsdemon.com/usenet_tester.php .To get the USENET tester program, click here to download.

UPDATE: We are receiving reports of errors using the software. We are aware of the problem and will be reissuing a corrected version shortly. We appreciate your patience.

UPDATE 8/20: We have a new improved version with added functionality that should resolve any problems our previous released version had encountered. Please use the link above to download v5.56



Newsgroup Spotlight: Psychology Newsgroups

By Newsgroup Usenet July 22nd, 2009

For a long time now, Psychology related newsgroups have been dedicated to fostering dialogue and research between modern science, psychology and philosophy. A good many newsgroups are dedicated to exploring various aspects of psychology such as personality theory, positive psychology, relationships, social psychology, media preferences, psychometrics and other sectors.

The goals of many are the same: to connect those interested in the science of psychology. Psychology newsgroups are unique in fostering communication with both researchers as well as generally interested people in the field.

The very first online community dedicated to psychology were created in USENET Newsgroups.

Specialty newsgroups on the topic of psychology exist to further create communities and discussion. Groups such as sci.psychology.pschotherapy exists to discuss techniques used in interpersonal therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, psychoanalysis, psychodynamic therapy, marriage and family
therapy, client-centered therapy, rational-emotive therapy, etc. It also is home to discussion on ethical issues in practice as well as specific psychotherapeutic techniques. Other newsgroups cover areas such psychology research newsgroups and expands as far as metaphilosopy.